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States, Debt, and Power'Saints' and 'Sinners' in European History and Integration$
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Kenneth Dyson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714071.001.0001

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Financial Repression, Debasement, and the Historic Arc of Default

Financial Repression, Debasement, and the Historic Arc of Default

Chapter:
(p.127) 5 Financial Repression, Debasement, and the Historic Arc of Default
Source:
States, Debt, and Power
Author(s):

Kenneth Dyson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714071.003.0006

This chapter examines historical variations in the scale and the distribution of various key policy instruments: currency debasement, default, inflation, devaluation, and financial repression. It looks at aggressive and defensive debasements and the importance attached to control of precious metals, including alchemy. The chapter analyses the factors explaining variations in use of default, including war debt and reparations, regime change, and revolution. It also examines historical myth and reality in the cases of Edward 1 and Edward III of England and Philip II of Spain. Particular attention is paid to the historic European arc of default and the role of bondholder organizations and the League of Nations. Key case studies include Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Ottoman Turkey, Portugal, and Spain. Finally, the chapter addresses the issue of core–periphery and the role of empire.

Keywords:   currency debasement, default, inflation, devaluation, financial repression, empire, arc of default, bondholder organizations, League of Nations

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